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Legal Information Skills

This guide is aimed at students who are new to finding legal information. It will take you through searching the Library resources, how to find your course readings, and also how to search key databases.


It can be difficult to find all the information you need in the library as there is so much available. Some of the places you will look for material during your studies are DiscoverEd, Westlaw, Lexis+ and HeinOnline.

The following videos give details about the resources and demonstrations of how to use them.

As you watch try to follow along and practice what you see and then practice finding other materials.

There is also a video on Using Legal Databases (29 mins) that may be of interest as it provides guidance on which resources are best for which search activities. 

Searching Westlaw

Westlaw help and training:


Lexis+ help and training:


Practice searches


Now you should be familiar with DiscoverEd and three of the main databases. Have a go at finding these resources for yourself. You will need all of them during your Scottish Legal Systems course.

In DiscoverEd: 

BOOK: Costa, M. et al. (2020) Steiner & Woods EU law. Fourteenth edition. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press

In Westlaw:

LEGISLATION: Forth Crossing Act 2011
CASE: Morrison v Robertson 1908 SC 332

In Lexis+:

BOOK: Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia of the Laws of Scotland
ARTICLE: Boch, C. Using EC Law before Scottish Courts, 36 Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, 6-9 (1991).

In HeinOnline:

BOOK: Hume, D. (1797) Commentaries on the Law of Scotland Respecting the Description and Punishment of Crimes

BOOK: Bell, G.J. (1899) Principles of the Law of Scotland. Tenth edition.

Next Steps

Your next steps are to click through to the next section of the guide and learn about how to reference correctly in law:Next page arrow

  1. Where to find and access resources
  2. Searching
  3. Referencing
  4. Further help and training
  5. Test yourself!